Joali Resort Maldives is an ultra-luxury resort on Muravandhoo Island in the Maldives. After waking up, you can dive directly into the ocean from your Water Villa and enjoy total privacy. Read more about Mar’s experience at Joali Maldives.
Recommended by Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Even before arriving at the resort, Joali Maldives sets itself apart from its competitors. The seaplane terminal lounge is spacious and elegant; the tasteful design is a glimpse of what is to come at the art-forward resort.
The brainchild of the Turkish-born serial entrepreneur Esin Güral Argat, Joali Maldives, is slated as one of the resorts that promise an ultra-luxury experience.
In a country surrounded by seaside luxe, that is a big promise, but they do not disappoint.
Joali is located on Muravandhoo island in the Raa Atoll, just north of the more popular UNESCO-listed Baa Atoll. As it is less developed than other parts of the country, it stands out as the only luxury choice in the area.
Landing at Joali is an experience in itself. There is a welcome bottle of Ruinart champagne and a set of handmade chocolate coconut treats, along with a 15-minute complimentary massage.
Inside, the gorgeous interiors designed by Turkish firm Autoban are inviting and sophisticated. All Villas have thatched roofs, high ceilings, and interior finishes made from only the most expensive and quality materials, from marble floors to Austrian wood.
The colors are neutral with splashes of salmon pink and rose copper. Both the overwater and beach villas have their own private pools to plunge into.
The standout of any villa is the fabulous marble, wood, and pink copper bar that comes standard with a standalone blender, vintage espresso machine, premium spirits, and even a thermos to take your drinks with you.
Next to the luxurious bed lies an intuitive tablet to control all the electronics, from the curtains to the music. Bathrooms are also kitted out with free-standing white resin bathtubs, walk-in showers, and green Norwegian marble.
Bath products are all vegan, organic, and chemical-free. And to top it all off, there are two bathrobes to choose from: a fluffy shower robe and a silk kimono by Ardmore.
The 108 sqm Beach Villas and even larger Luxury Beach Villas are surrounded by lush tropical jungle. For a premium experience, there is the double story Private Duplex Beach Residence with four bedrooms in a 1,200sqm total space.
Of course, it comes with a designated butler.
My preference is the Water Villas, where it’s easy to wake up and dive directly into the ocean, even though there are infinity pools.
The best part about Joali’s overwater villas is that they provide total privacy, unlike some other resorts where you can see directly into your neighbor’s room.
The three-bedroom Private Ocean Residence is probably the most opulent of the lot, with three connecting residences and two infinity pools. As it’s quite far from the mainland, a designated dhoni (small motorized boat) is available whenever needed.
There is no shortage of dining options from the informal poolside Mura Bar for the best sunsets, to breakfast and dinner at Vandhoo Restaurant, to champagne bar Bellinis serving authentic Italian.
The chef even makes his own mozzarella on site. But the crème de la crème is the Japanese Saoke designed by Glitt’s Noriyoshi Muramatsu. This is a floating restaurant where teppanyaki and sushi are served under the stars.
Ask former Head Sommelier from Gili Lankanfushi, Fabrice, anything about any alcohol. He is notoriously knowledgeable.
Joali brands itself as an immersive art experience. Each villa has its own unique works of art that are ever-changing and available to purchase.
In conjunction with Turkish art curators Zeynep Ercan and Asliala Onur from No LaB, the resort has hand-picked some amazing artworks. There is even an art map available to help out.
Sit in Porky Hefer’s rattan swing shaped like a bird or relax in the bamboo and palm leaf manta structures created by Israeli artist Zemer Peled.
There are also regular exhibitions and workshops available for guests. When I visited, there was a small tour of the island with Sissel Tolaas.
Float around in the glass kayaks, take a jet ski for a ride, go diving around the Raa Atoll or try your hand at wakeboarding. There’s even a submarine ride!
And when all is said and done, relaxing at Joali’s ESPA with ocean views is the perfect way to destress.
Along with top service from the “magicians,” the gorgeous art pieces, and the attention to detail, Joali really is the next level in premium Maldives hotels.
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